Tag Archives: duck

Master’s Class Vs Master Class

It was one of those weeks where I attended two Master classes by Master Chefs. But there was a world of difference in the learning outcomes of both. In the first one conducted by Chef Christopher Koetke, Vice President, Kendall College – School of Culinary Arts, Chicago, at Taj Mumbai, information and learning, was the cornerstone of the entire session, apart from being an interactive and enjoyable one. And yes, there was gourmet satisfaction too.

Chef Koetke, in fact jokingly remarked that he had compressed two years of culinary school syllabus for us in those two hours. And he was not far from the truth, as we did learn a lot. He acquainted us with knives and the art of cutting and chopping, butchery, how to make sauces, and of course Duck breasts, chartreuse of braised duck, and chow chow. What’s more, we learnt about wild rice and maple syrup too.

So engrossing was the session that I almost felt like enrolling myself in the Kendall College, school of culinary arts, one of the premier culinary-training programs in the USA.

The second one, The Magnum Master class, I daresay, was a tad disappointing as we learnt nothing, but merely indulged in mindless banter and futile conversation. Nothing substantial was imparted to us, participants. Considering it was conducted by Master Chef Kunal Kapur, I was hugely let down. More so, since one had braved rains and heavy traffic and made it to the venue. But I reallised it had nothing to do with Chef Kunal’s ability or calibre, but the poor structure and agenda of the Master class itself.

Product-Chocolate Truffle

Initially with three types of chocolate samples placed on our tables, I was hopeful that we would learn more about those and be taught to distinguish among those perhaps in terms of flavour, texture etc . Apart from being told about the percentage of cocoa in Belgian chocolate, nothing much was communicated to us. Of course there were uncalled for remarks galore by the giggly hostess.

Next we were told were going to learn how to make a sundae with Magnum, but hey presto Chef Kunal did a quickie with that too and we were then asked to make some sundaes ourselves in groups. Perfect, I thought. But after we finished, a somewhat enjoyable exercise, I thought the Master Chef himself would comment, give us tips, point out ways of bettering it. But nah! It was all over. We were done for the day. What had we learnt? Absolutely nothing. If it was meant to be a fun afternoon and I was clearly told so, no complaints, but c’mon don’t call it a Master Class. This made me reminisce about a coffee workshop with Phillips conducted by Kalyan Karmakar which we had enjoyed so much and learnt from as well.

The only bright side to that otherwise boring afternoon, was sampling the Magnum. Not that one was unfamiliar with it. The first crack, made me nostalgic about the time when I had first tasted one in Dubai, several moons ago. But now, the world’s most famous premium ice cream on-a-stick is available in three delicious flavours – Classic, Almond and Chocolate Truffle in Mumbai, Bangalore, Hyderabad and Bengaluru wrapped in the brand’s signature brown and golden packing. Priced at Rs.85,  I think it is affordable, considering it is decadent Belgian chocolate all the way.



A Grand Prix!

Rahul and Malini Akerkar’s passion and eye for detail never cease to surprise me. The new Prix Fixe (pre-fixed) menu during lunch at Indigo bears ample testimony to that. No rushed affair this is. Well planned in terms of flavours, textures and variety.

So of it’s a quick working lunch or a relaxed leisurely luncheon you’re after, this menu is perfect. The idea is to enjoy your dining experience without having to rush through your meal and yet within a limited time. The precise but varied menu, does not confuse you and yet, there’s something in it for all.

My House Smoked Scottish salmon salad was exotic to say the least. The salmon aroma was appetising and it was light and healthy. The accompanying radish, citrus salad and cucumber sorbet were tangy and refreshing.

Pulled Duck Tortellini, too turned out to be extraordinary. Served appetisingly, it was just right to tease the palate sufficiently. The grilled green garlic marinated chicken with its robust flavours was the surprise of the afternoon. I loved the sweet n sour beans that were served alongside.

Other options were Cauliflower and Green Garlic Veloute; Baby Beets with Horseradish Pana Cotta;; 64°C Truffled Chicken Breast; Ravioli of Mud Crab; Sous Vide Pork Belly; Lemongrass Risotto; Pressed Watermelon with Chilli Vodka and Whipped Feta; Atlantic Scallops with Confit Lamb.

As always I look forward to desserts at Indigo. Macchiato Brulee; Pineapple Upside Down Cake with Rosemary Ice Cream; Chocolate Truffle with Chevre Mousse & Sour Cherry. Delightful choices. The Macchiato brulee was sinful with its coffee flavours,  paired with cute bite-sized custard dougnuts. The Panna Cotta was a visual delight and was equally a treat for the taste-buds.

From Monday to Saturday, the prix fixe lunch menu is available from 12 noon to 4 pm and is priced at Rs 1,320 (all inclusive). An absolute steal and value-for-money I assure you. Be sure to try it.